Being a stoic as everyone says is someone who is having an equilibrium in his emotion. A stoic can be someone who doesn’t let external affairs to affect his inner behaviour.
I myself have discovered a profound change in myself, as soon as I applied the Stoic philosophy called Negative visualization technique in my life, which are being used by many influential people since ages. A simple change in Your though can completely change your outlook.
Let’s Dive deeper and know the principles behind it.
What is Stoic negative visualization?
Whether you called it negative visualization psychology or just negative visualization, it is a way of thinking where you visualize the “Worst possible things that could happen”.
In other words, stoic negative visualisation is a situation where you are preparing your mind for the worst situation, as life is uncertain and a stoic knows that bad news is something that should not be avoided as it might make us weaker in the long-term.
When I was in school, there was a boy named Abhishek who I used to hang out with, he always used to say that, you know Akash to be successful in Life — “be positive” every time.
I used to laugh and to be honest, I thought the same way, I used to believe that always being positive is the way to eliminate negativity
But I was wrong. Being positive is good, but avoiding negativity to gratify your own emotions is harmful in the long run.
Why You Should Not Avoid Negativity
Just imagine this, Suppose Your room is messed up with papers and junk all around. You decided to clean up, after setting up this goal you took your vacuum to learn, and within 1 hour you cleaned up your room.
But, as time goes by your room again came to the same cluttery stage, where there is stuff clogging all around the room.
So, what is the moral of this?, It simply means that no matter how much you try to avoid negativity from your life it will come again to haunt you, the only solution is to change your habits towards it and to really understand what is it instead of avoiding.
Dealing with negative thoughts- The Right way
- Talk to Yourself — Ask questions on what is not going right and try to solve it by answering key areas of your problem.
- Stop Judging yourself — Negative feelings are just a bunch of self-created thoughts that have nothing to do with yourself, if you take your time to understand yourself without judging then it might help.
- Explore new things — Travel, start a new project, or just take a walk in the park, all these activities are proven to refresh your mind, giving you are new opportunities of self-growth.
- Talk to someone — there is also a better way of dealing with negative thoughts Without sticking into your mobile phone and that is to call someone who you trust, we need some consultation as it is the ultimate human instinct, so don’t hesitate to talk.
- Accept Your Actions — Whatever caused the unpleasant in you can cooperate with your accept your actions or mistakes for the situation and Forgive the other person even he/she has done something morally wrong because by holding onto it you are not only polluting your own mind but also causing disharmony in yourself.
Example of Negative Visualisation stoicism
Suppose You are going for a Long Drive, the sky is bright and the road is clear, you are super excited to enjoy the day but all of a sudden your tires got punched and you have to stop in the middle of the road where there is no help to be found.
What a common man will do in this situation?
He will say — “I am the most unlucky person, that guy is responsible for my situation as he Did not give me the right tires”.I am stuck now, what should I do.
What a Stoic will do in this situation? He will say —
“What is the best thing I can do right now that will get me out of this, I need to stay calm and find a better solution for this”
Did you notice the difference in tone and Attitude between the both ?, A stoic as always prepare for the worst as a stoic never lets his inner self get affected from the outside affairs. He knows that life always has other plans, no matter how much preparation you to take there will be situations that will spoil all your well-crafted things.
What Stoic Philosophers have to say about it Negative Visualization – stoic quotes on control
these are few stoic quotes that will provide you with a better understanding of the same concept —
Just keep in mind: the more we value things outside our control, the less control we have. — Epictetus
Meaning — Epictetus says that the more we let things control ourselves the less inner harmony we will have.
Time is like a river made up of the events which happen, and a violent stream; for as soon as a thing has been seen, it is carried away, and another comes in its place, and this will be carried away too.
― Marcus Aurelius
Meaning — here, time is considered as a river which keeps flowing, just like a river which keeps itself moving irrespective of the sharp turn of rocks or any obstruction, similarly, a man’s duty is to keep the pace of life irrespective of outer obstruction, which indeed will pass.
A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man without trials — Seneca
Meaning —To be a man of great significance and esteem one has to go through numerous rough stages of life.
It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters— Epictetus
Meaning — a situation never causes distress in your life, it is you who take those situations in such a way that causes distress.
Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.― Seneca
Meaning — Just like labour strengthens his body through rigorous work, similarly, a mind is strengthened by rigorous friction of life.
As long as you live, keep learning how to live.
to err is human, but to persist (in the mistake) is diabolical. — Seneca
Meaning — To live is to learn, a human always makes mistakes but that is completely normal, but to keep making the same mistake is terrible.
The art of Using stoic negative visualization
- Get Prepared — Before starting any project, always keep yourself away from the greed of the results, instead focus on the work and be prepared if things do not go in the right way.
- Calm your mind — Silence is a superpower, a man who is self-composed in a tough situation is conquered himself, practice meditation and prayer, remind yourself that “the moment I become angry I lost few minutes of my life”.
- Give away Greed — Do something out of devotion, not greed, do something that you want to serve not because of the results and rewards it holds.
- Be accountable — This is the art of being responsible for your own situation. A lot of people blame others for their circumstance but a stoic who has practised negative visualization and truly understands the principles behind and always holds himself accountable for the situation he faces in life.
A stoic personality
A stoic personality is Nor negative nor positive, he is free from all external factors that cause confusion in his mind. A Stoic knows that his inner harmony does not depend upon success or failure. Hence If a stoic Works and achieve the success he will be happy and, if a stoic Works and fail then also he will be Be happy What do you think? drop a comment below.